Sunday, June 5, 2011

Paul Livius
Raytown Board of Alderman Meeting
June 7, 2011 by Paul Livius

Board Members absent: Charlotte Melson

The Invocation was given by Deanna Hayden, from the Southwood Church of the Nazarene.  She asked for a moment of silence for Jeff Taylor, who was killed in Joplin.
  • Police Chief Jim Lynch introduced Joe Holt and Miles Spandle.  They were sworn in as Raytown police officers.
  • During the public comment portion of the meeting, Vicki Turnbow urged everyone to come to the Raytown Summerfest and BBQ on June 10 and 11.  There will also be a fishing derby.
  • Andy Whiteman said Alaska has the “Bridge to Nowhere”.  The Raytown Board of Alderman was proposing the “Bike Lane to Nowhere”.  He stated the bike lane should take people where they want to go, such as the Library, Post Office, City Hall or downtown Raytown.  He urged the Aldermen to vote no on the bike lane as it has been proposed.  He also stated he was sorry to see Beth Linn leave her position in Raytown.  He wished her success in her new job.  He also stated that now is the time for Raytown to return to requiring Senior Department Heads to live in the city.  He pointed out that our City Administrator was given one postponement to move to Raytown because his children were in school.  He was given another wavier because housing prices were too low.  Mr. Whiteman asked if the Administrator would be given a third wavier if housing prices went up.
  • The City Administrator reminded the Board that there will be a Goal Setting session on June 14 at 6:30pm at Fire Station #1. The Goal Setting Session meeting is a public meeting and open to the public to attend.
  • The Board heard the second reading of an ordinance entering into an agreement with the Missouri Highway Commission to accept funds for a bicycle and pedestrian trail along 350 Highway.
  • Alderman Ertz said the guard rails on the bridge on 350 Highway were very low and would be dangerous to bike traffic.  He asked if the guard rails would be raised to make it safer.  Andy Noll said the guard rails would be brought up to standard when the bridge on 350 Highway was rebuilt from the deck up. 
  • Alderman Van Buskirk stated he is in favor of improvements on Raytown’s roadways.  He commended the staff for getting the grants to do the work.  He said he has reservations about a bike trail on 350 Highway.  There is a huge volume of traffic on 350 Highway.  Eliminating the shoulder would create a significant traffic hazard.  It will be impossible for emergency traffic to get through.  Also, when there is an accident or a vehicle breaks down, there will be no shoulder for vehicles to pull over to.  He also pointed out the high cost of the project, which he considers to be prohibitive, given Raytown’s current budget.  He stated there are better projects to spend $211,000.
  • Alderman Creamer thanked the staff for getting the grants.  If Raytown doesn’t get the money, some other city will.  He pointed out that there are several auto repair shops on 350 Highway, as well as auto parts stores.  These businesses can assist stranded motorists.
  • Alderman Pardue said he has heard from his constituents and they like the idea of the bike lanes.
  • Alderman Mock asked if there would be landscaping along the bike trail.  Mr. Noll said that there is nothing budget right now for landscaping, but it can be done later.
  • Mayor Bower said he has seen a lot of pedestrian traffic on 350 Highway.
  • The vote passed.  Mr. Van Buskirk was the only no vote

The Board heard the second reading granting Missouri Gas Energy a franchise in Raytown.
  • Alderman Van Buskirk said he wanted it clear that this is an 8% franchise fee or tax that is passed on to the consumer from the utility company.  This is a consumer based tax.  Only the consumers pay the tax.  He supported this tax because it is good for the city.  The tax increases as gas prices increase.
  • Alderman Ertz said this was not a tax, it was a franchise fee.  There are gas lines under the streets in Raytown.  This fee is just a part of doing business. (SEE EDITOR'S NOTE BELOW)
  • Alderman Aziere said the City of Raytown can’t operate without these taxes.
  • The vote passed. 
  • The Board heard a reading of an ordinance concerning an agreement with the Missouri Department of Economic Development to accept a block grant for housing.  Beth Linn pointed out that 25% of the people who take ownership of the homes under this grant must be within the lower 50% of the income level.  She will have income guidelines at the next meeting. 
  • The tabled item from the last meeting concerning the resolution to reappoint John Ness to the Policemen’s Retirement Fund was voted to leave it tabled. 
The meeting was adjourned.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Franchise fees (or taxes, if you prefer) are charged to utility companies as their cost to operate within a municipality. In Raytown, the Franchise Fee is 8%. The utility company does not pay the fee. The cost of the 8% fee, or tax, (both terms are technically correct) is paid for by the consumer.

"Greg I know you frown of censorship or fact checking, but this is getting rediculous. Some of your so called Anonymous posts are stating things as fact they could not possibly know unless they worked at City Hall. The lies on here are so outragious even you should know that."

Greg Walters
Justin Primose by Greg Walters
Last week I received an email from a person who signed his name as Justin Primose. I seriously doubt that Justin Primose exists, still, his message touched upon a question that raises its ugly head from time to time. Experience has taught me that the best way to respond to comments such as written by Justin Primose is to take them head on.

Mr. Primose was writing in regards to comments that followed the news that Ms. Beth Lynn, the city’s Community Development Director, had resigned her position.

So, away we go!

Justin wrote the following (Editor’s Note: We have corrected Justin’s grammar and spelling):

Greg I know you frown on (sic) censorship or fact checking, but this is getting ridiculous (sic).

I love these missives that begin with accusations. For instance, I just learned that I “frown on censorship or fact checking”. For the record, I do not frown on fact checking. Nor do I mind censorship when the writer is using vulgar language. 

In fact, before we broke the story on Beth Lynn we discussed how to best do so. We decided the best way was to quote the press release from the City Administrator.

That was news and we reported it as such. We also gave our opinion that a stable and properly functioning city hall can best be attained by requiring new hires into management level positions to live within city limits. It is our belief that such a requirement would attract city officials who wish to plant their roots in our community and make it their home.

The Raytown Report is published in two sections. There is the “news” we report. There are columns by local business owners and links to other notable publications. This section also contains our editorial positions.

The portion of the Raytown Report where readers can make their comments is not part of the “news” section of the Raytown Report. It is what most refer to as the BLOG. It is where our readers sound off and give their opinion.

But I digress . . . Mr. Primose goes on to write . . .

Some of your so called Anonymous posts are stating things as fact they could not possibly know unless they worked at City Hall.

What this tells me is that some of the people who work at City Hall have written to the blog. Nothing wrong with that! It is a free country and they are entitled to their opinion.

So, what’s the beef? We encourage everybody to participate in the debates on the blog portion of the Raytown Report.

The lies on here are so outrageous (sic) even you should know that.

Okay, I’ll bite. What lies?

I see a lot of opinions. Some say Beth Lynn is great. Some say she is not. But I don’t see any lies. So, enlighten us.

Your turn, Justin. Send us a list of those lies, the specific post in which the lie was made, and just as important, the truth to counter it, and we will publish it for you.

350 Highway Bicycle Trail Update . . .

We received the following message just as we were publishing this week's update. Normally the following post would have gone on the blog section, but to make the link work properly we have placed the post here. The post was sent anonymously. The photographs are from the Board of Aldermen's agenda packet for Tuesday night's meeting.

Go to pages 50-56 for the grand bike trail placement photos.

Speaking of Meetings . . .  Be sure to check back on the Raytown Report later this week for the Paul Livius report on Tuesday night's Board of Aldermen meeting.

Jenn Walters
Dark Chocolate by Jenn Walters

This is a sponsored post written by Fit Bottomed Girls on behalf of True Healthy Products for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100 percent ours.

In college, I got in the unbreakable habit of eating dessert after dinner every day. Now, it’s like oxygen to me—I need something sweet after dinner or I just feel like I’m missing a vital nutrient (good thing we operate on an “everything in moderation” policy, eh?). Thankfully, I made a discovery post-college that saved me from going overboard on cake, cookies and ice cream for the rest of my life dark chocolate.

Click here for the rest of this story Dark Chocolate

To post a comment on this blog click on the word comments below:


Anonymous said...

Over the Memorial Day weekend, it suddenly became hot. Since I have have my air conditioner set for 80 degrees, it was took several days and a complaint from Red Dogg for me to realize it wasn't working. Fortunately Raytown has a HVAC Service Specialist, Larry Edwards, 816-356-8545. Larry provided prompt service at a fair price. I highly recommend Larry should anyone need cooling or heating service.
My opinion is that Greg printed the news regarding Beth Linn in a professional manner as any reporter would. Greg's comments are separate from the news and are very obvious that they are editorials. I recognized posts on this subject as opinions.

I shall make my comments about the bike trail and Department Head vacancies at the BOA meeting on Tuesday. I hope others do the same.

See you there!
Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Mr Primrose, whats the difference between a city employee who makes up a name, and one who is anonymous? Since you are the moral compass for this blog can you give us the oh i don't know lets say the top five accomplishments of Ms. Lynn's brief encounter with us common folk.... Good luck with this, you going to need it.

Andy Whiteman said...

It has been stated for quite awhile that city employees chose to remain anonymous so as not to jepordize their jobs. Did Mr. Primrose just figure this out?

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

OMG!!!! you people remind me of pessimistic conservative tightwad old geezers! You complain about everything. You sound jealous of others.

Really do not believe that residency requirements or cutting salaries here are the answer.

The general trend anymore with most people is to 'job hop'. What that is of course is start a new job, work at it for a while, and move on to another one, perhaps in greener pastures, while building and adding credentials to ones resume. That is common place and has been for some 30+ years now.

Cut wages too low will only force the momentum of the revolving door to go faster, eliminating the job all together could potentially reduce or eliminate city services. If most of you that get on here are so unhappy with things here, why not move somewhere else where you will have a better overall attitude and out look on life, and feel better about yourself as well?

Quit bringing everyone else around you down with your non stop constant negativity!

Penny offense said...

Often on this blog there are complaints about our police department. I am not saying that some of the complaints do not have merit nor am I say that some of the complaints are just out of this world. I accept the fact that we all view things in our own way and often for reasons that I am sure are not included in the postings.

I am grateful to the service our office provide our city and very thank full that we do not find them making national news like the Salt Lake City Police Department.

I hope the rest of the readers and posters on this blog regardless of what side of the complaint coin they are on will agree the actions from the police officer in Salt Lake City is just non-cents.

NOTE: To read the story click on my posting name.

If that does not work the link is:

Anonymous said...

Job Hop?

Where do you come up with such nonsense. There are no jobs to hop to. Unless you are looking to make a lateral movement from Walmart to Aldi's!

By the way. Do you know that Aldi's considers all of its employees to be management level. They use that as a way to keep from paying overtime.

Anonymous said...

It's not the fact that many department heads
use Raytown for a steppingstone to "better"
jobs. Everybody has the right to better themselves.
What I don't understand is why, why doesn't our
city leaders stand behind department heads that
clearly don't do what they are hired to do?
In this town if you are hired into a management
position you are here for life. You don't have
to perform. You don't even have to move here
even though the rules state you must.
I guess since our elected officials don't do their jobs
(enforce their own rules) I guess it would
stupid for us to think any hired management
would work hard at their jobs.

TX said...

8:47 How do you elimanate code enforcement when codes are not enforced today?

Drive any of major streets and very quickly you will see things needing painted, mowed and repaired.

If you or others don't see these things please get off the road as we don't need any acidents from the legal blind driving. said...

It is nice to read that our city is not the only on in the nation that elects great thinkers and business genius.

It would be nice if we could find and election individuals in Raytown that would take the time to read about the damage that overspending has on other city before they approve things like there is an endless supply of taxpayer money.

I wonder how long before we too are the next ones to make national news for overspending and the funding of private business.

NOTE: Read more click on the my name.

Speaking of Aldi's said...

I was reviewing Aldi’s website and their thoughts on looking for additional locations.

I was surprised that it didn’t say anything about receiving any tax breaks to decide on a new location. So, why are the good citizens of Raytown funding the building of the location here?

NOTE: Read more click on the my name.

Anonymous said...

My personal take on Beth Lynn is that she got in over her head here in Raytown. She just quit doing her job here and looked for another one

Anonymous said...

3:46 PM, I disagree. Beth Linn has done a great job here! I spoke with her tonight and it sounds like she has the same challenges plus more in Edgerton. I wish her the best.
Speaking of Aldi's, thank you for the link. I know a location that would welcome them.
I can't criticize a person for seeking a better job. I applaud them. That is what life is about! I am sure every city government is a steeping stone to another city government. The same hold true for corporations. Its not like the old days where a person made a career at one company. Companies now treat employees as throw away items to avoid benefits. Many employers no longer have retirement or benefits after retirement.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Ihave yet to read any complaint because someone went to look for another job.

On the other hand I have yet to read that having the high rate of turnover at city hall is good for Raytown.

Judging by the complaints i've heard it may be best that Ms. Lynn is moving on.

Pat Casady said...

All we taxpayers can and do expect
from both hired department heads and
elected officials is to take care of this
town. That doesn't mean give away our tax
dollars. It doesn't mean become a loan company
for rich corporations. It means that they will
fix streets, make neighborhoods safe,
enforce codes and follow the rules they make.
It includes rules that are already in place.
It's really pretty simple. Do their jobs.
Most of all quit lying to the people and
put the tax dollars where they say they
will be spent. Quit giving away taxpayer's
money. Taxes are an investment in our town.
Not to invest in big corporations.

Andy Whiteman said...

I have seen complaints on this blog in the past about a CA looking for another job.

We have had at least one CA move on under questionable circumstances. Personally from events and a citizen complaint at the time, I think he was close to being fired. In a case like that, the city is better off when someone decides to move on.

But I would prefer Beth Linn had stayed in Raytown even though she is doesn't live here. I wish her success in her new choice of a job.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

The debate about the franchise fee being a tax makes me wonder if it is deductible from my income taxes as a tax paid? Never thought about it before. During the debate, I was thinking that the franchise tax along with sales tax on top of that on my electric, gas, and phone come to a really large amount if totaled on a yearly basis. The documentation is easy since I have saved all of these bills.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Ms. Lynn: WINNING!

Anonymous said...


Oh yes. Part of that great success story named Raytown.

Thw winning will become evident when she is gone. That noise you willhear will be a collective sigh of relief.

Get serious for once. No one is sad to see Ms. Lynn go. Even those comments singing her praises carefully dance around the lack of code enforcement in Raytown.

Winning? Don't know about that.

Gone. That is what is best about the whole sad situation at city hall. The truth was written earlier this week when someone wrote that their read on beth Lynn was that she was over her head in her position. Put it together. The job she is going to became open last January.

She wanted out. And while no one at city hall was pushing her out, she wsa most definitely being handed her hat and cane.

Anonymous said...

I think Alderman van Buskirk has a point. If there is a wreck on the highway but no curb to more over to how will emergency vehicles get to the wrekc?

There may be mechanics who can repair a car along the highway but that does mean that an ambulance or the fire department can get through.

maybe their can be a compromise to build a curb and a bike lane?

Anonymous said...

Alderman VanBuskirk is the only alderman that cares for the people.
The rest just aren't sharp enough to get it.
Keep reelecting them Raytown. You are getting what you deserve.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the bike lane will result in having to shut 350 down at times because of a wreck.

Where without it we could still have the highway open as it is able to be today.

It is great to see politics before business at city hall!!!

Anonymous said...

Before anyone decides to allow the gas service or any other to pass a fee (tax) on to us the end user we need to look at their fancial statement.

Record profits, salaries and unneed expense don't justify any increase.

I have not checked, but would bet the management could first take a 10% pay cut.

Now look at other waste. ATT for example has ran new lines in my area twice in the last month. I have called their corporate number yet still have not had someone explain why this extra cost will be passed on to me and other users.

This mismanagement needs to end at all levels and until it does our elected officials need to recall those words of Nancy Regan and "Just Say No".

Anonymous said...

City government by 9 idiots for idiots who voted for them!

Anonymous said...

There is a "rumor" that Jerry Briggs has left his post the Jackson County Public Water Supply Number 2, only after a year on the job, and only ran as a personal vendetta against them. Any truth to this?

Anonymous said...

I just read where Representaive Anthony Weiner from New York is being investitaged for some inappropriate correspondence he has had with a teenager on the internet.

This guy is toast!

John Edwards and now Weiner. Which democrat is lined up for the next scandal?

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone out there. Come on up to the Raytown Barbeque this weekend in Downtown Raytown. Beautiful weather and yummy barbeque. You can't beat it!

Anonymous said...

I equate today's America to the Downfall of the Roman Empire. I.E. corruption and a big decline in morals. We are in the midst of a recession due to corruption (which I hope won't become a depression.) It is commonplace now to have a sex scandal in Congress or in the White House. I think the end of this country is near. O'Bummer fiddled while America burned.

Andy Whiteman